Updating . .  

California has 2 million unused doses of vaccine even as demand soars. Here’s why -- Across California, a vast number of coronavirus vaccine doses are locked up in cold storage. But last week, when Santa Clara County asked for 100,000 doses to ramp up vaccine distribution, the state offered only a fraction of that amount: 6,000 doses. Catherine Ho and Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

Orange County Congressman Lou Correa says he has COVID-19 -- Correa wrote that he would quarantine away from his family. Correa, 62, was among the lawmakers who sheltered in the House chamber on Jan. 6 when rioters stormed the Capitol. Brian Rokos in the Orange County Register -- 1/16/21

Drive to get COVID-19 vaccine to L.A. firefighters loses steam as 40% fail to show up -- The reluctance of L.A. firefighters adds to the list of healthcare workers in the state who are declining to take the vaccine, a trend that health experts say could have serious public health implications. Ben Welsh, Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21 

Kaiser apologizes for long phone wait times amid huge vaccine demand -- Kaiser Permanente officials apologized on Friday to their members for the long call center wait times in recent days since the state’s coronavirus vaccine eligibility was expanded to those 65 and older. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

‘Light at the end of tunnel’ or a small blip? Flattening COVID-19 numbers bring hope in California -- Despite hospitals overflowing with patients, heartbreaking numbers of deaths and COVID-19 infection rates hovering at dangerous levels, there are some signs that the daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases is beginning to flatten in California. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Luke Money, Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ Leonardo Castañeda in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/16/21

Limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine likely to slow rocky rollout for California seniors -- As California launches massive COVID-19 vaccination sites to speed up inoculations, concern is growing among public health officials that the supply of doses could soon dry up. Laura J. Nelson, Hayley Smith, Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

San Diego County’s two largest nursing homes have largest outbreaks in region -- Even as vaccination efforts are launched in the region’s skilled nursing facilities, novel coronavirus cases and outbreaks continue to rise among the county’s most vulnerable populations. Lauren J. Mapp in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/16/21

Slow to start, coronavirus testing in Orange County is booming -- Once novel and hard to come by, coronavirus tests have become an essential part of pandemic life in Orange County and now can be found at doctors’ offices and massive drive-thrus or ordered online for doorstep delivery. Ian Wheeler in the Orange County Register -- 1/16/21

Hospital sending stable COVID-19 patients home early to free up beds -- Daily, McMurray and other members of the team drive to patients’ homes, checking vital signs, collecting testing samples and generally watching for signs of trouble in the same way they would if their charges were still laying in hospital beds. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/16/21

WWII vet, 95, returns home after COVID-19 scare -- “I’m great,” he said Friday while waiting to be discharged from the Villas at Poway, a skilled nursing facility where he had been recovering from COVID-19 for about a month. “I feel wonderful. I’m getting better each day.” Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/16/21


California EDD’s mass suspension of accounts hangs over jobless -- Carie Mathis’ housecleaning business collapsed when the pandemic started. The single mom went on unemployment to support herself and her twin 15-year-olds, but couldn’t make the rent payments for their Rodeo house. They moved in with her parents in Vacaville. She bunks in the garage so the kids can have bedrooms. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

Policy & Politics 

‘We didn’t buy guns for nothing:’ California lawmakers face threats as national tensions grow -- State lawmakers attended what was supposed to be a routine Capitol budget hearing last week assessing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s spending plans for next year. But when the time came for public comment, things took a dark turn. Lara Korte and Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

He led the Valley’s campaign to break from L.A. Now, his website is a refuge for the far-right -- Jeff Brain knows a thing or two about tilting at the establishment. He did, after all, help lead the campaign that sought to create a city in the San Fernando Valley by breaking away about one third of Los Angeles’ population and nearly half of its land mass. James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Christine Pelosi feared for her mother’s life and wants the SF Giants to take a stand about that -- Christine Pelosi, a big deal in California politics and daughter of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is poised to quit the board of the San Francisco Giants Community fund after revelations that principal owner Charles Johnson and his wife Ann are financial contributors to a Republican legislator accused of endangering the life of Pelosi’s mother. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

Lelyveld: This former politician wants politicians to know what it’s like to be jobless, get COVID, scrape to survive -- Araceli Gonzalez-Burkle, a former politician, lost her good job in May. In December, she got COVID-19. Often, she doesn’t have enough money for laundry. She wants our government to focus on the suffering out there. Nita Lelyveld in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Knight: Tech titans give S.F. the finger as they flee. But this billionaire is staying and working to make it better -- Jeff Lawson, founder and CEO of San Francisco’s Twilio, called out his fellow tech titans for not only bailing on the city in the middle of a pandemic, but being rude about it as they leave. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

Covid Rules Frustration  

‘Let Them Play’: Sacramento-area rallies call for kids to resume playing sports -- Student-athletes in school colors arrived at more than 130 sites across California on Friday, their emotions and signage in tow. The signs read, “Sports are essential” and “Let them play!” They met at parks, in church parking lots, on sidewalks, all at 4 p.m. in an effort to be seen and heard in large numbers. Joe Davidson and Cameron Salerno in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

Local diner sues Sacramento County, state over business fees assessed during pandemic -- Brookfields is leading a class action lawsuit against Sacramento County and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, alleging restaurants shouldn’t have to pay full governmental fees while hampered by COVID-19 health orders. Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21


New state rules for schools force some San Diego districts to cancel reopening dates -- Many big districts, like San Diego Unified, were already going to remain closed because COVID-19 rates are too high to allow reopening. But San Diego County school districts that were planning to reopen middle and high schools in the next few weeks now are postponing those plans indefinitely. Kristen Taketa, Deborah Sullivan Brennan in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/16/21


UC Berkeley reverses course and will not close institute helping students of color -- Following an outcry, UC Berkeley is reversing its plan to disband a campus institute that for four decades has served as a pipeline into the social sciences for students of color and has lifted them into the highest echelons of academia. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

Capitol Siege  

Guard troops deployed throughout downtown Sacramento in advance of expected violence -- At the state Capitol — which is expected to be the site of protests Sunday and Wednesday as well as unrest between supporters of President Trump and antifacist groups — armed soldiers, Guard trucks and armored Humvees were stationed on streets around the building. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

McManus: There’s no need to hurry Trump’s impeachment trial — accountability is a dish best served cold -- If Senate Democrats want to have any serious hope of convicting Trump, their best strategy is to slow the process down. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Also . . .   

Caltech to remove name of founding president, a eugenics supporter, from buildings -- Caltech announced Friday that it would remove the name of its founding president and first Nobel laureate, Robert A. Millikan, from campus buildings because he supported eugenics — joining universities across the nation in repudiating those who joined the racist movement a century ago. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Lopez: What do conductor Gustavo Dudamel and rocker John Densmore have in common? Plenty -- You need a break, right? I know I do. We’re cooped up and locked down, and when we turn on the TV news, it’s politics and the pandemic all the time, nonstop. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21


California Policy and P  olitics Saturday Morning  

California unemployment fraud could top $9 billion, double previous estimate, expert warns -- As an army of investigators tries to pin down the scope of unemployment benefit fraud in California, the head of a security firm working for the state is warning that payments of fraudulent claims could more than double the $4 billion previously estimated, and that a flood of those claims involve overseas crime rings. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Cerritos firm secured unemployment benefits for 82-year-old Long Beach woman with dementia -- So it was with dismay in December that Gutierrez discovered an unusual $450 charge to her mom’s debit card from ML Tax and Insurance in Cerritos to process an application for California unemployment benefits and qualify her for an additional $300 a week in federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Scott Schwebke in the Orange County Register -- 1/16/21


Daily COVID-19 death count soars to new heights in California -- More than 530 Californians are now dying every day from COVID-19, pushing several counties past new, grim milestones. Just this week, Santa Clara County and Sacramento County each reported its 1,000th cumulative COVID-19 death, while San Diego County notched its 2,000th. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Cautious optimism that post-holiday surge is leveling off meets frustration over COVID-19 vaccine supply -- San Diego County’s latest coronavirus report offered some hope that the current uptick in cases and hospitalizations might be reaching a plateau. Jonathan Wosen in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/16/21


L.A. County prosecutors, public defenders got COVID vaccine ahead of time, sources say -- Several deputy district attorneys and public defenders were able to receive doses of the COVD-19 vaccine at a Crenshaw distribution site Wednesday, despite the fact that the county is only supposed to be administering the vaccine to healthcare workers, according to two officials with knowledge of the situation and documents obtained by The Times. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Vaccine chaos: Californians scramble for shots amid mixed messaging -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said the feds failed to deliver promised vaccine supplies, but he expects Californians with their first shots to be able to secure their second. Barbara Feder Ostrov and Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters -- 1/16/21

‘Chaos’ and logjams in California as vaccine supply promises fall through -- San Jose resident Patty Lippe, who said she has hit nothing but walls in trying to get her 89-year-old mother vaccinated, struggled to grasp how this could happen. “I have a sister in Arizona, she’s lined up to have a vaccine, and she’s 52. How stupid is that?” Lippe said. “None of this makes sense. This is all so poorly managed.” Robert Salonga, Emily DeRuy, Paul Rogers, Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/16/21

Bay Area officials worry about supply constraints in rush to distribute vaccines --Local officials said Friday that the vaccine rollout is cramped by limited supply and a deluge in demand from residents over the age of 65 deemed eligible by the state to get immunizations this week, with some counties also citing the need for personnel, facilities and time to scale up operations. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

Frustration and anger mount in Northern California as COVID vaccine supplies dwindle -- Frustrated Northern California residents are spending hours on hold only to learn vaccines for the coronavirus are unavailable. Others complain they don’t even know who to call about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Local health officials, meanwhile, report they aren’t getting enough doses to make good on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s promises of more vaccines this week. Tony Bizjak and Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

‘They have reneged.’ False promise of extra COVID vaccines leaves California scrambling -- California officials, already scrambling to accelerate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, were frustrated by revelations Friday that the Trump administration doesn’t have a reserve stockpile of vaccines that it had been promising to release. Dale Kasler and Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

Forum to serve as a coronavirus vaccination distribution site -- The Forum will serve as a coronavirus vaccine distribution site beginning Tuesday with the hope to eventually vaccinate more than 4,000 people per day at the Inglewood arena, county officials said Friday. Andrew Greif in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Dodger Stadium takes center stage in L.A.'s COVID-19 vaccination campaign -- The cars line up next to where syringes are filled on small rolling carts. One by one, workers wearing face shields bend down to talk to the drivers through their open car windows about the vaccine they’ll be given. The patients are jabbed with the shot while still buckled in and 15 minutes later, most are cleared to leave and drive off. Maya Lau in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Proposal to use Oakland Coliseum as vaccination site advances -- The commission that governs the complex agreed to form a task force Friday that will determine the details of how and when vaccines can be distributed at the Coliseum. Michael Williams in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

S.F. to open three mass vaccination sites, with hopes of giving at least 10,000 doses a day -- One site likely will open by the end of next week at City College’s main campus. But there’s a major hurdle holding the city back from opening the others: California’s limited vaccine stockpile, which has been unpredictably distributed around the state. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

L.A. firefighters might be required to get COVID-19 vaccine, Garcetti warns -- Amid reports that some Los Angeles firefighters are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccination, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday that he would “potentially” make the vaccination mandatory if firefighters remain reluctant in a few months. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Covid and Workplace  

Legislation seeks to upgrade safety standards for fast-food workers amid COVID-19 -- A bill introduced in the California State Assembly on Thursday excoriates the fast-food industry for its response to the pandemic, contending that chains have “routinely flouted” measures intended to protect the state’s 500,000 fast-food workers — and their millions of customers — from COVID-19. Lance Williams in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

Policy & Politics 

Orange County Republicans help drive recall effort against Gov. Newsom -- Republican politicians, donors, organizations and volunteers from Orange County are playing a pivotal role in reviving a once-stagnated recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Orange County is the heart and soul of this campaign,” said Randy Economy, spokesman for Recall Gavin 2020. Brooke Staggs in the Orange County Register -- 1/16/21

Public booted from California Senate after threats -- The women who shouted the threats were opposed to mass coronavirus inoculations, not the imminent departure of President Donald Trump, but still spurred Senate leader Toni Atkins to block public access to the Senate gallery. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 1/16/21

LA County DA Gascón gets backing from 65 current and former elected prosecutors -- Sixty-five current and former elected prosecutors from across the nation filed a legal brief on Friday, Jan. 15, in support of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón and his authority to enact new legal policies. Jonah Valdez in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/16/21

Capitol Siege  

U.S. Postal Service will temporarily remove some mailboxes in the Los Angeles area as security precaution -- The U.S. Postal Service on Friday announced plans to temporarily remove more than a dozen mailboxes in the Los Angeles area for security reasons amid threats of potential violence in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere surrounding next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

California closing state offices in downtown Sacramento over inauguration unrest fears -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration has told California state department leaders to keep as many state employees as possible out of downtown Sacramento offices through Thursday over concerns of unrest. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

California Capitol security at peak level Friday as officials await National Guard -- A massive law enforcement presence Friday swarmed over the California state Capitol in downtown Sacramento, preparing for days of unrest that the FBI has said could lead to armed attacks at all 50 state capitols. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

California Highway Patrol issues statewide tactical alert ahead of Inauguration Day -- The alert allows CHP to increase overall awareness and the number of officers available to help protect state highways, state buildings, and the state Capitol in Sacramento. Jonah Valdez in the Orange County Register -- 1/16/21

Capitol rioters aimed to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials, federal prosecutors allege -- Pro-Trump extremists who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” with one rioter leaving a note for Vice President Mike Pence warning “justice is coming,” federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing that provides the most detailed explanation yet for what the mob planned that day. Brian Contreras, Richard Winton, Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21


California tackled bad jokes, cybersquatting to protect election -- A fake, partisan website mirroring the Placer County election site. Inaccurate online claims that California was closing in-person voting. Multiple false claims that ballots were thrown away. Those are among the more serious efforts to undermine California’s election that the state worked to shut down, according to public records obtained by CalMatters from the Secretary of State’s Office of Election Cybersecurity. Freddy Brewster and Katie Licari CalMatters -- 1/16/21

Covering elections showed me California votes were secure -- Despite continuing national concerns about election integrity, it’s clear that California’s county registrars of voters — the heroes of the 2020 election — made sure every vote was counted. Lewis Griswold CalMatters -- 1/16/21


Deals in Bay Area renter’s market favor luxury seekers -- Three months’ free rent on a 2-bedroom apartment with a pool in West San Jose. A Lake Merritt studio in Oakland at a 50% discount for the first six months. Two months of “complimentary rent plus a $2,000 MasterCard gift card” on a luxury high rise renting for $4,375 a month in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood. Deals on high-end apartment rentals in the Bay Area are blowing up. Laurence Du Sault CalMatters -- 1/16/21


Deputy hospitalized and suspect dead in Carmichael shooting, Sacramento deputies say -- A deputy was hospitalized and a suspect was dead after they were both hit by gunfire Friday night in Carmichael, Sacramento County sheriff’s officials said. The 47-year-old deputy, a 15-year-veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was taken by an ambulance to a hospital, said Sgt. Kionna Rowe, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. She had no further information about the extent of the deputy’s injuries. Rosalio Ahumada and Daniel Hunt in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

Andres Guardado inquest ends without testimony from sheriff’s officials or the deputy who killed him -- A retired judge appointed to hold a public examination of the death of Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old man killed during an encounter with Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, said Friday that she had concluded the inquest without hearing testimony from the deputy who fired the fatal shots or the sheriff’s detectives investigating the case, all of whom invoked their 5th Amendment rights and refused to answer questions. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

A wild ride, a crash, a cover-up: Skateboarder alleges abuse by deputies involved in Guardado shooting -- Jesus Alegria was skateboarding with some friends at a Compton park on an afternoon in April when Deputy Miguel Vega and his partner, Chris Hernandez, pulled up. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

699 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco last year compared to 235 from COVID-19 -- San Francisco saw nearly three times as many people die from drug overdoses than from the coronavirus last year, a staggering data point that highlights the city's dire drug epidemic fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21


Santa Ana winds and record-breaking heat raise fire fears -- The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for a large swath of Southern California, including the mountains and valleys of Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21


PG&E to pay up to $190 million to settle pollution case with S.F. -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will pay as much as $190 million for the cleanup and rejuvenation of San Francisco’s oldest recreational marina to settle a decades-old legal dispute over pollution from a former coal gasification plant. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21


Monterey Bay power plant now a record-breaking battery project to ward off blackouts -- Vistra Corp., a Texas energy company that owns the Moss Landing power plant, announced this month that its long-awaited battery system on the site has begun to come online. At 300 megawatts by the time it’s fully functional within the coming months, it will be the largest facility of its kind in the world, according to Vistra. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/16/21

Employers and Workers  

California fast food workers hold one-day strike over minimum wage, working conditions -- Fast food workers went on a one-day strike in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles and 13 other cities across the nation on Friday, marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and demanding a national minimum wage of $15 an hour. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

New details on Newsom’s state worker proposal — what happens to raises, health deductions? -- Gov. Gavin Newsom tentatively offered state employees some good news last week when he said his administration might undo the pay cuts the workers absorbed last summer. Newsom provided few specifics, citing uncertainty that still surrounds the state’s financial forecast despite projections of a surplus. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/16/21

POTUS 46  

Biden to send Congress bill to legalize 11 million immigrants who lack documentation -- During his first days in office, President-elect Joe Biden plans to send a groundbreaking legislative package to Congress to address the long-elusive goal of immigration reform, including what’s certain to be a controversial centerpiece: a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the county without legal status, according to immigrant rights activists in communication with the Biden-Harris transition team. Cindy Carcamo, Andrea Castillo, Molly O’Toole in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/16/21

POTUS 45  

After 2 Impeachments, Giuliani Vows to Continue His Fervor for Trump -- White House officials are universally angry with Rudolph W. Giuliani and blame him for both of President Trump’s impeachments. But he remains one of few people still willing to join Mr. Trump in the foxhole. Katie Rogers and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 1/16/21

-- Friday Updates

Bank of America sued over EDD unemployment debit card fraud -- A new federal lawsuit takes aim at Bank of America for failing to secure the unemployment debit cards of thousands of jobless Californians, part of the lax processing that has made the Employment Development Department the target of widespread fraud. Lauren Hepler CalMatters -- 1/15/21

Why veterans of the military and law enforcement joined the Capitol insurrection -- An Air Force veteran from Southern California and ardent conspiracy theorist bent on war against the government. An Army psychological operations officer at Ft. Bragg, N.C. A decorated, retired Air Force officer of 18 years from Texas who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jaweed Kaleem, Kurtis Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

Sacramento GOP activist surfaces in video boasting of role in U.S. Capitol siege -- Jorge Riley, who is seen on a video posted on Reddit.com wearing a Sacramento Republic FC shirt, described breaking into the Capitol with others on Jan. 6 for a “peaceful, physical takeover of the Capitol.” “We breached through there, we broke windows, we went into the door, we pushed our way in and then we just kept going further and further,” he said on the video, adding that this was his first visit to Washington, D.C. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21


Vaccine reserve was already exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access -- When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line. Isaac Stanley-Becker and Lena H. Sun in the Washington Post$ -- 1/15/21

They’re the most likely to die from COVID-19, but hardly any have been vaccinated -- As of Sunday, only about 5% of long-term care facility residents in the statewide vaccination program — including people in skilled nursing homes and assisted living centers — had been vaccinated, according to California Department of Public Health data obtained by The Times. Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Busy phone lines and crashed websites: Bay Area seniors hit hurdles in race to get vaccinated -- Kaiser Permanente patients reported receiving a message that they would have to wait as long as four hours to speak to anyone who could schedule an appointment. They had better luck than Sutter Health patients, who said they found the phone lines were down, along with the health care provider’s website. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

Bay Area counties are begging the state for more vaccine doses -- Bay Area county officials expressed major frustration this week at how the state has allocated precious vaccines, saying they aren’t receiving enough doses and the supply is unpredictable. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

LA County strives to step up vaccines, but seniors told they’ll have to wait until February -- County officials say they simply don’t have enough vaccines to widen the program now. But that didn’t stop many seniors from calling their pharmacists or tying up phone lines on Thursday looking for answers. David Rosenfeld, Bradley Bermont in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/15/21

Why can’t I get an appointment in OC? And more questions about COVID-19 vaccinations -- The news this week that the COVID-19 vaccine can now be given to anyone 65 and older in Orange County was met with a mad rush of people hoping to get their shot, but for many of them, it was a struggle to get an appointment or even get the designated app and website to work. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 1/15/21

How soon you get COVID-19 vaccine may depend on where in California you live -- Some counties are beginning to offer the vaccine to older residents. But others, including Los Angeles County, say they need to finish giving shots to first responders and medical workers first. Hayley Smith, Colleen Shalby, Sara Cardine, Jonathan Wosen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

L.A.’s big bet: Turning Dodger Stadium into mass COVID-19 vaccine site -- State residents 65 and older are now eligible for the vaccine, but in Los Angeles County, they can’t receive it until officials finish vaccinating at least 500,000 healthcare industry and nursing home workers. Officials hope to begin vaccinating seniors by early February, along with teachers and workers in child care, emergency services, food and agriculture. Maya Lau, Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Back to School  

State tightens rules for reopening schools as high COVID-19 rates hold districts back -- Governor Gavin Newsom has made changes to his plan to reopen schools, including a small decrease in the case rate that would allow elementary students to campus for in-person classes. Paloma Esquivel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21


Fear over COVID-19 variant grows as L.A. County mulls closing malls, gyms -- Los Angeles County and the rest of the nation are in a race against time to vaccinate as many people as possible against the coronavirus before a variant thought to be even more contagious takes hold. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

At Lake Tahoe, unfurling the statewide welcome mat is ‘awkward’ as pandemic rages -- For many, the most jarring issue is the varying restrictions between California and Nevada: While the three California counties that flank the western basin of the lake were previously under some of California’s most restrictive coronavirus orders, across the state line, indoor restaurants, gyms, bowling alleys, casinos and movie theaters are open, albeit with limited capacity. Susanne Rust, Luis Sinco in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Why one of the Bay Area’s biggest coronavirus outbreaks hit a horse racing track -- This incident highlights the turbulence at Golden Gate Fields, where close quarters created a precarious situation, and raises questions about whether the track did enough to prevent one of the Bay Area’s biggest outbreaks — more than 300 cases, including the death of a widely respected trainer. Ron Kroichick in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21


Diaper masks, close quarters: Fast-food restaurants have struggled to protect workers from COVID-19 -- In the crowded kitchen of a McDonald’s outlet on a working-class commercial stretch of Oakland, it was as though the coronavirus didn’t exist. Lance Williams in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21


Racial bias in California courts could force judges to reconsider sentences under proposed law -- Californians with past criminal convictions would gain a new avenue to clear their records if they can show racial bias affected their arrest or sentencing under a proposed law sponsored by a former public defender. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21

Covid Relief  

Flush with surplus, California government could gain billions more in Biden’s COVID-19 plan -- California state and local government could benefit from billions of dollars in new federal financial support if President-elect Joe Biden can convince Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan he unveiled Thursday. Sophia Bollag and David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21

Also . . .   

Crowley: Charles Johnson’s ownership is a shame for the San Francisco Giants -- The San Francisco Giants laid off 10% of their workforce while their principal owner, Charles B. Johnson, was donating millions of dollars to controversial causes including QAnon. Kerry Crowley in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

San Diego firm joins rush to capitalize on hotels’ financial woes in wake of pandemic -- The newly formed Torrey Pines Hotel Group will join a Los Angeles-based firm to buy up financially distressed hotels at discounted rates and also manage them long-term as travel eventually rebounds once vaccinations become more widespread. Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

Beyond Meat signs a big lease. The rest of L.A.'s office market struggles -- Demand to rent offices has withered, fresh data show, as the pandemic has left Los Angeles County business owners wondering when employees will be able to return. Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Smith: Just when they need it most, 800 Compton residents are about to get free money -- For five years, Georgia Horton had worked to rebuild her life, no easy task for a Black woman who spent years in prison. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21